Non-Medical Prescribing (Advancing Practice)

The programme aims to:

  • prepare nurses and midwives to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively as independent and supplementary prescribers;
  • prepare podiatrists, physiotherapists and radiographers to prescribe safely, effectively and competently as supplementary prescribers.

The module can be completed as a single credit-based module.

Study method: Stand-alone modules

Non-Medical Prescribing
  • Module code ADPP013
  • Start date January 2018 - TBC
  • Application deadline 26 November
  • Duration 20 weeks
  • Days on campus 8
  • Credit value SCQF 11 40
  • Fees £1,160
  • Overseas Fees £2,100

Entrance Requirements

 You must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have valid registration on your professional Register maintained by the NMC or HCPC;
  • You must have at least three years’ experience as a practising nurse, midwife or specialist community public health nurse and be deemed competent by your employer to undertake the programme. Of these three years, the year immediately preceding application to the programme must have been in the clinical field in which you intend to prescribe, e.g. neonates, mental health;
  • Part-time workers must have practised for a sufficient period to be deemed competent by their employer;
  • You must demonstrate an ability to study at degree level (academic SCQF level 9);
  • Provide written confirmation from a designated medical prescriber who meets the eligibility criteria described by the National Prescribing Centre (2005) who will provide the opportunities to develop competencies in prescribing during the required term of supervised practice.

In addition, a written statement from the employer is required to confirm that:

  • The appropriate clinical governance systems are in place and you have had an enhanced disclosure check completed;
  • You have been assessed as competent, or are undertaking a training programme, to take a history, undertake clinical assessment and diagnosis before being put forward;
  • There is a clinical need within your role to justify prescribing;
  • You must be able to demonstrate appropriate numeracy skills and have sufficient knowledge to apply prescribing principles to their own area of practice.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence of your proficiency (minimum IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL: Listening 23, Reading 23, Speaking 23, Writing 23).


The content meets the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Health Professions Council.


The learning outcomes (LO) for the programme have been determined by NMC Standards of Proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers (NMC 2006) and Standard 5 states that the minimum academic level of the programme should be no less than first degree level, academic SCQF level 9. Students can also undertake the module at SCQF Level 11 where there are the same learning outcomes, as stipulated by the NMC (2006), plus two additional outcomes to ensure articulation with SCQF Level 11 learning and assessment.

The NMC (2006) learning outcomes have also been mapped against the objectives determined in the Outline Curriculum for Training Programmes to prepare Allied Health Professionals as Supplementary Prescribers (DoH 2004) and the HPC Standards of Education and Training (SETS) (HPC 2009). The NMC (2006) Standards set out ten learning outcomes that must be stipulated in all programmes (NMC 2006: Standard 9). However in 2007 the NMC Circular 22/2007, Prescribing for children and young people, stipulated actions to strengthen the Standards and articulated that prescribing programmes must incorporate an additional leaning outcome related to this circular (NMC 2007c).

On completion of this programme the student will be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Assess and consult with patient/clients, clients, parents and carers.
  2. Undertake a thorough history, including medication history and current medication to inform diagnosis.
  3. Understand and apply the relevant legislation to the practice of prescribing.
  4. Critically appraise, use sources of information/advice and decision support systems in prescribing practice.
  5. Understand the influences that can affect prescribing practice, and demonstrate your understanding by managing your prescribing practice in an ethical way.
  6. Understand and apply knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice.
  7. Prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the roles and relationships of others involved in prescribing, supplying and administering medicines.
  9. Prescribe within a framework of professional accountability and responsibility.
  10. Develop a clinical management plan within legislative requirements. 
  11. Undertake a clinical assessment and make an appropriate decision based on that assessment to either diagnose or refer, having considered, the many differences between diverse patient groups such as children, adults, pregnant and breast feeding women and patients with mental ill health (NMC Circular 22/2007c).
  12. Construct an evidence base which reflects attainment of academic skill in SCQF Level 11 critical thinking, professional collaboration and coherence with specific legislative drivers.
  13. Critically evaluate your learning and how this impacts on your ability to prescribe and to provide an autonomous and collaborative service.

Structure and Content

The programme is divided into five distinct units. These is intrinsically linked by the nature of the subject material.   Outlined below is the broad content of each unit.

  • Foundations of Prescribing
    Practice Legislation and Clinical Governance issues
  • Clinical Pharmacology, including the effects of Co-morbidity
    Basic principles of pharmacology; adverse drug reactions; medicines management
  • Prescribing and the Wider Healthcare Context
    Appropriate prescribing; drug licensing within the public health context
  • Prescribing Partnerships
    Assessment and decision-making; psychology of prescribing; compliance and concordance
  • Prescribing in Practice
    Prescription writing; safety; handling; auditing and monitoring of medicines

The programme is delivered twice a year with intakes in September and January.

The programme consists of 26 days of theoretical input with an additional 12 days of supervised learning in practice (78 hours). A blended learning approach is adopted for the theoretical delivery using a mixture of face-to-face teaching and online learning. The equivalent of 18 days will be delivered by distance learning, using the University’s virtual learning platform Canvas.

In addition, students attend 8 face-to-face taught days on campus. The programme commences with 4 days of taught material on campus, this includes orientation to Canvas.  

Much of the taught component is spent with clinical pharmacists. Further topics for study during the taught component are patient assessment, consultation styles, decision-making and concordant approaches to diagnosis and planning of care, external influences on prescribing and medicines management.

The taught component is delivered using a variety of teaching methods including lectures, discussions, seminars and self-directed group work. All material taught during the face to face days is available on Canvas.

Delivery and Assessment

There are four areas of assessment:

  • A written examination;
  • Assessment of examination/assessment skills in practice;
  • A portfolio of evidence supporting the acquisition of competencies which demonstrate proficiency as a prescriber;
  • The theory component of the programme will be assessed through written examination; the second section of the examination is a numeracy/drug calculation test. Assessment of competence in practice will be assessed through demonstration of clinical competencies within a portfolio of evidence and a detailed examination of practice.

You must pass all the elements of assessment for successful completion of the programme.

Dates on campus(s)

Introduction Days    4 days TBC

Middle Days            4 days TBC   

Exam on Campus    TBC


Module Co-ordinator(s)

Application Procedure

Please request an application pack from

Application deadline Sun, 26 Nov 2017 23:00:00 GMT


All modules can be linked to specific professional capability/competency frameworks within your practice area.

You are encouraged to view your participation within the Masters of Advancing Practice programme as a means of supporting your professional development plans (PDP) and career progression.

This module may be completed as a single credit-based module. Alternatively you can use it as credit towards the MSc in Advanced Practice.

Modules will be offered subject to demand and need to meet a minimum class size of eight students.

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